O’Dea escapes with wrestling win over BHS

Spartan heavyweight grappler Mike Grant puts a hold on O’Dea’s Joey Richards. Grant would go on to win the match with a final score of 9-2. - Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review
Spartan heavyweight grappler Mike Grant puts a hold on O’Dea’s Joey Richards. Grant would go on to win the match with a final score of 9-2.
— image credit: Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

The Spartan varsity wrestling team lost the war even after having won more battles at the home match against O’Dea Tuesday, Jan. 7.

The final score was 45-26 O’Dea.

O’Dea technically won eight of the 14 matches, but five of those were wins through a BHS forfeit. Thus, despite a superior physical performance by Spartans, the deck was stacked against them from the start.

“Everybody had to wrestle a perfect match [to win],” said Spartan Head Coach Dan Pippinger. “Five of our guys were wrestling up a weight class just to try and make the match outcome what we wanted it.”

BHS was forced to forfeit the 106-, 113-, 182-, 220- and 285-pound classes. O’Dea claimed victories in the 120-, 126- and 132-pound classes.

“Head’s up, man-to-man, they beat us,” O’Dea Head Coach Jeff Anderson said to Pippinger of the Spartans. “We beat them by numbers, but you’ve got a pretty darn good squad.”

Bainbridge’s Chaney Weaver brought home the first Spartan win of the night in the 138-pound class when he successfully beat O’Dea’s Markel Green with a match score of 18-3.

“It went OK,” Weaver said of his victorious match. “I could have taken more shots, but I got comfortable with the reversal.”

The BHS sophomore went on to describe his strategy as “wresting smart.”

“Never give up anything,” Weaver advised. “Also, I try to get a sense of what he’s [the opponent] good at. If you’ve got someone who’s really good at countering, you’re not going to take a shot at him.”

Jack Miller also won a round for BHS in the 145-pound class and pinned his opponent in just 55 seconds.

Aaron Jumpa delivered one of the most exciting matches of the evening in the 152-pound class. He went the distance against O’Dea’s Marcus Phillips and was ultimately awarded the match with a final score of 9-3.

Spartan 160-pound representative Dylan Read pinned his opponent in 2:33.

Bainbridge definitely dominated the competition in the heavier weight classes.

In the 170-pound class match, Joaquin Gurza claimed a victory with a final score of 5-3 and Spartan heavyweight Mike Grant delivered what may very well be the highlight match of the night in the 195-pound class, scoring an epic 9-2 victory over O’Dea’s Joey Richards.

“He kept is cool,” Pippinger said of Grant’s impressive performance. “He stayed in the game plan. He didn’t let that guy’s aggressiveness get into his head and he just kept control. That’s a good thing for him.”

The Spartans will host the 31st Island Invitational Tournament in the BHS gymnasium at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11.

“We really work to make our tournament competition the toughest competition that we face,” Pippinger explained. “When it comes down to it at the end of the season, the tournaments are what matter. You’re competing for tournaments, and eventually it’s the state tournament, so we’re trying to make sure that we’re always preparing for what we’re trying to accomplish.”

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